Monday, September 29, 2008

Grocery Guilt

I often experience grocery guilt, and I don’t think I’m alone. At the store after work today, I actually felt pretty good about my basket of bananas, oatmeal, tomato soup, broccoli, skim milk and sugar-free gum (even though I’d only gone for bananas), but the gentleman in front of me was acting rather strange. When I got in line behind him, he took a step back, and I (overdramatically) scooted to avoid being stepped on. He glanced at me sheepishly, avoiding eye contact, and mumbled something to the effect of, “I just have this stuff,” motioning to his sad little pile of sustenance.

What’s this guy’s deal? I wondered, before I focused in on his items: a can of chili, an array of brightly colored packages of frozen Jewel-brand burritos and what looked like candy I didn’t have time to identify (as I sensed my staring was making him even more uncomfortable). As I (unsuccessfully) tried to stop myself from judging, I realized he might be feeling a bit like I was last night when, in my hungover state, I just couldn’t make it the extra few blocks to the grocery store and instead bought a bag of pretzels, a tub of whipped cream cheese and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s at Walgreens. As the cashier rang me up, I wondered if he knew this was my Sunday dinner…

Seeing the same guilty look in someone else’s face made me kind of sad. Maybe this dude had just had a rough day and was as horrified by the idea of cooking and dishes as I was last night. Frozen burritos are his choice, and he should have the right to purchase them without shame. I’m well aware of the fact that the things I feel self conscious about are the faults I’m most judgmental of in others—so I’m making a resolution to stop critiquing fellow shoppers’ choices. Except for checkbooks. Using checkbooks in this day and age is simply ridiculous, and I will continue to shoot dirty looks and sigh loudly when the person in front of me breaks out the pony express of payments and I’m trying to get home in time for the beginning of Gossip Girl.


Abby said...

I'm so proud of you for making an effort to be less judgemental, but I hope this change of heard applies only to stores. We still need to be able to judge people at bars and stuff...that's half the fun of going out. Oh, and it's Gossip Girl. No "s". I know, I'm a total nerd.

Amy said...

OMG I can't believe I overlooked that typo! Making nerdy edits is what I do for a living ;)

No worries, I'm sure I won't be able to resist judging for long.

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